Nandakishore Varma's Reviews > The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
6237864
's review

it was amazing
bookshelves: classic, literature

"Gregor Samsa woke up one morning to find himself transformed into a giant insect."

Gabriel Garcia Marquez says that it was this sentence (one of the most powerful opening sentences in world literature) which convinced him that he could also write and started him on his literary career. Until then, he had thought people were not allowed to write such outrageous things in stories!

"Metamorphosis" talks about alienation in a direct way which packs a tremendous punch. There is no beating about the bush, no explanation of how such a fantastic event can occur, no hint that the story is metaphorical. Gregor Samsa, a man until the day before, has suddenly become an insect - now he, his family, and society must deal with it.

This is what makes Kafka intensely readable. If you are willing to suspend disbelief and allow the writer to lead the way, you can plunge right into his novels. While most of his subjects are weird and depressing, his writing is strangely compelling; it is a nightmare from which you do not want to wake up.
67 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Metamorphosis.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 23, 2011 – Shelved
October 1, 2011 – Shelved as: classic
October 1, 2011 – Shelved as: literature

Comments Showing 1-22 of 22 (22 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Swetha "It is a nightmare from which you do not want to wake up." - neatly summed up.


message 2: by WarpDrive (new)

WarpDrive I love Kafka. You are exactly right, his writing is weird, depressing but also strangely compelling. And it remains with you for quite a long time. Kafka is the Rene Magritte of literature - unforgettable.


Nandakishore Varma Swetha wrote: ""It is a nightmare from which you do not want to wake up." - neatly summed up."

Thank you. I absolutely adore Kafka.


Nandakishore Varma Fortunr wrote: "Kafka is the Rene Magritte of literature - unforgettable."

Very aptly put.


Brian ..."a nightmare from which you do not want to wake up." Well said! :-)


Brian And I see someone else said that too. Sorry, but I like it!


Nandakishore Varma Brian wrote: "..."a nightmare from which you do not want to wake up." Well said! :-)"

Thank you!


message 8: by Mansuriah (new)

Mansuriah Hassan Nice review! :)


Nandakishore Varma Mansuriah wrote: "Nice review! :)"

Thanks!


Cecily Short and pithy. Somehow I hadn't thought of Kafka as the progenitor of magical realism, but it makes sense. The unreal happens in an unremarkable way, especially in his short stories.


message 11: by Nandakishore (last edited Jan 09, 2017 08:38PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nandakishore Varma Cecily wrote: "Short and pithy. Somehow I hadn't thought of Kafka as the progenitor of magical realism, but it makes sense. The unreal happens in an unremarkable way, especially in his short stories."

Thank you. I read an interview with Marquez sometime back in the late eighties where he made that statement. Since I am a fan of both authors, it sort of stuck in my mind.


message 12: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt "Gregor Samsa woke up one morning to find himself transformed into a giant insect."

I read this story ages ago and don't remember much, but the first sentence stuck. I think I have to re-read it.
It's not necessarily an insect though. The original says Ungeziefer which means vermin. I always see it as some kind of woodlouse, maybe something like the giant isopod:



Nandakishore Varma Matt wrote: ""Gregor Samsa woke up one morning to find himself transformed into a giant insect."

I read this story ages ago and don't remember much, but the first sentence stuck. I think I have to re-read it.
..."


Yes, I have seen the vermin version also.


message 14: by Lina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lina I think it was a bad choice for any translators who translated it as "insect" instead of "vermin". The German version always seemed metaphorical to me, because "Ungeziefer" is not necessarily an insect or an animal but can also be a "disgusting person" or something.
I always found the story to be a metaphor for how Gregor's family viewed him. Today, I'd say it could be a metaphor for how both parts of the family (Gregor vs. Mother, Father and Sister) kept each other down, because it seemed like Gregor stopped his family from making efforts of their own to lead their own lives, although at the same time they did not seem to care that he was taking care of them at all.
It's just such a very unclear story, that's what I love about Kafka. You can always look back at it and see something new.


Cecily How many non-insect vermin can climb walls and ceilings as easily as Gregor does?

Personally, I don't much mind which word is used, in part because the whole things IS a metaphor.


Nandakishore Varma Cecily and Lina, I am of the opinion that the either word, insect or vermin, is equally effective. The whole point of the story is alienation - how one is totally cut off from everything one holds dear. All the while I was reading it, I was picturing him as a cockroach.


Miquel Reina Totally agree!


Alexandra yese goodsrhgjgjx


Nandakishore Varma bethsy Rodríguez wrote: "yese goodsrhgjgjx"

A very Kafkaesque comment.


message 20: by Wardah (new)

Wardah Beg Or kafkique? Or Kafkish? Or Kafkified? Or Kafkine? Or Kafkatastic?


Fernando Excellent review...


Nandakishore Varma Fernando wrote: "Excellent review..."

Thanks :)


back to top